Minimizing Security Risks for Online Workouts
By Jordan MacAvoy, VP of Marketing, Reciprocity Labs
In many parts of the world, fitness facilities have been ordered to close down to curb the spread of COVID-19. This has led many gyms and studios to online classes. Moving your fitness practice online is challenging, especially if you have no idea about creating videos. Delivering classes through platforms such as Zoom will also take you some time to get used to. However, moving your practice online is the only way to keep your business afloat. It also exposes you to a greater audience, which translates to more money.
Some of the considerations you need to make when running online live workout classes include; determining when you will be holding the classes, adjusting the lighting in the room, finding an ideal location for your phone or laptop, and testing your sound. You also have to think about the security risks involved. Here are some tips on how to safely run an online workout class.
1. Secure Your Finances
The first thing you need to do before moving your business online is to think about the financial implications. You may have to financially restructure the way your organization operates. It is vital to ensure you are financially stable. Consult your accountant to understand aspects of your balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and statement of cash flows.
One of the things that will affect the expenditure is your staff. You need to restructure your staff. Since the business will be moving online, some of your staff will have to be laid off. You will also have to create new roles like planning and conducting live-streamed workout sessions and making marketing content in the form of blogs, infographics, and short videos.
2. Secure Your Network
While experts advise against sharing meeting links on public forums to prevent uninvited guests during online classes, this is not enough. When running an online live workout class, it is essential to secure your home network. The first step is to turn on encryption on your router. Encryption will scramble information passing through the network, making it difficult for hackers to read it.
The most recent encryption standards are WPA2 and WPA3. These standards protect data that is sent through wireless networks. If your router does not have WPA2 or WPA3 options, update the router software or buy another router.
3. Use A Virtual Private Network
Using a VPN ensures your data is not accessed by anyone you do not want to. You should use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. This network establishes a secure and encrypted connection since all traffic passes through it.
When it comes to cyber-attacks like phishing and DDoS, VPNs help minimize the risk. A VPN makes it hard for hackers to spy on traffic and intercept communication. It also hides your real location from websites, internet providers, and hackers.
4. Update Software
One of the best ways of reducing your vulnerability in cyberspace is by constantly updating software. Since you will be using applications like Zoom, make sure you update it. For example, Zoom 5.0 includes security controls like encryption.
The updated version of the application has made meeting IDs less visible. This prevents unintended sharing. There is also a new security icon that allows hosts to lock rooms and remove participants. Zoom is issuing updates regularly. Updating software, whether it’s Zoom or any other application you are using to host your live workout classes, will help you reduce vulnerability.
5. Use Strong Passwords
When conducting online classes, you should be keen on the passwords you use on your apps and devices. Make sure you use long, unique, and strong passwords. It is advisable to combine numbers, symbols, capital, and lowercase letters.
Your passwords should avoid things that are easy to guess like sequences, common passwords, or repeating numbers. You should not use the information that is related to you in your passwords. For example, using your address or date of birth as your password is not recommended.
6. Two Factor Authentications
To make it more difficult for cybercriminals to access your platform, you should use dual-factor authentication. With this security process, users provide authentication factors to verify their identity. This process protects the user’s credentials and resources that a user can access.
A good example is how Facebook or other social media sites require not only your password but also a special code to confirm your true identity. It is important to use an authenticator app to increase the security of your online classes. This will prevent hackers from interrupting or corrupting your online classes.
Working online is the norm nowadays in light of the COVID-19 threat. Any business or professional that wants to remain relevant must adjust to the online trend sooner than later. Moving your practice online can be a daunting task, especially for those who have no experience with video content. However, this should be the least of your concerns. One of the things you should be keen on is ensuring you and your clients are safe from cybersecurity threats.